Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
What the hell is going on? That's what red-headed veterinarian, Kate Brewster (Claire Danes), wants to know! First she has to detain an old school-friend of hers, John Connor (Nick Stahl), from stealing some drugs in her place of work. Then she is attacked by some crazy cybernetic bitch that looks like a porn-star; for no reason what-so-ever. Plus finally, some big chap that looks like the Governor of California; kidnaps her with John in toe.
So again, what is going on? Well, according to John, the big chap is called the T101 (Arnold Schwarzenegger), and he is a human-looking cyborg, who comes from a desolate future ruled by a mechanised entity named Skynet. According to T101, the porn-star is called the T-X (Kristanna Loken), who is a more powerful version than he is, and has been sent back in time to kill people associated with a future resistance, which both Kate and John are a part of. And according to them both, Kate's Dad, Lieutenant General Robert Brewster (David Andrews), is the man who will instigate this dire turn of events in two hours time.
Worst still, is that whilst Kate finds all of this out, the police are bungled into the proceedings. TX relentlessly peruses them by truck, by foot, and with gun. Oh! And lets not forget that when John, Kate, and T101 finally reach Kate's Dad, it's just before he launches Skynet, and just after TX gun's him down.
Holy Arnie! Is there any hope for them now? Maybe. But only if they are able to reach a secret headquarters and program in the correct abort codes for Skynet, of course.
Though, that is most probably why what next transpires is a right pain in the hasta la vista baby. As Terminators eat pies - humans fall - machines rise - and God knows what's going to happen to this old mud ball.
'Terminator 1' was a supremely well made science fiction bent take on the hunter / hunted scenario. 'Terminator 2' was a great innovation upon the first film, and added pathos, humor, and social commentary into the mix. So why the f*ck does 'Terminator 3 - Rise of the Machine' feel like a step back to me? When it has incorporated elements of the first two movies into this one, plus added a sultry and desolate tone to it as well?
You see, personally speaking of course, I find this flick a somewhat mixed bag all in all - with some good points to it, and with some bad points to it too. So what do I normally do with this state of play? Hallelujah! You win a spam sandwich dear reader. It's advantage / disadvantage time!
(1) OK, I know that he looked a bit older in this movie. But I thought that Arnie did a very good job in portraying the machine who look's mean. If anything, I think that he has improved with age - like a very fine Austrian wine. (2) Whenever the story-line is allowed to progress, I have to admit, that I did have fun listening to nigh on all of the exposition scenes with Arnie and 'the kids'. It was nice to hear 'a fresh take' on what happened in the previous two movies, as well as what's coming up next. (3) There was one scene in the flick that nigh on spooked me out as soon as I saw it. It was the one were Kate shot that machine, and John said to her "You remind me of my Mother". I was spooked because I thought exactly the same thing about his Mum. (4) I liked the way that the 'token love story' did not play out like a 'token love story', rather, as a start of things to come - very refreshing.
(1) As much as I liked looking at Kristanna Loken in this movie, I am sorry to say that she did not appear too threatening as the main villain of the piece. Maybe this is because she comes across like a sexy woodland elf, who has a very cute and doe-eyed vibe about her physique. (2) One of the main problems with this film is that the story is superseded by the action. Now please don't get me wrong when I say this, because I really did enjoy most of the set pieces. It's just that at the beginning of this picture it was too 'top heavy'. And at the end of this picture it had a laboured start / stop momentum about it. (3) One of the scenes which really did get my goat up; was that scene where a re-programmed T101 had to shut himself down, because he was going to kill John and Kate. This whole scenario felt a bit throw away to me, and did not really add anything to the overall plot - apart from sustaining a bit of suspense for the finale. Also, when T101 turned off, I imagined in my mind the Windows shut down theme. (4) Regretfully, I could not take the fight between T101 and TX that seriously. It looked very mannered and cartoon-line in the execution, particularly with the stoic expressions on both Arnies and Kristannas faces.
OK - so that's four a piece. Yeah - about right. Though a tad hash. Unlike some of these filmic facts: (1) This was
last role before he was elected governor of California.
(2) The secret name for this production was ' York
Square'. Plus the original by-line was 'The
War Begins 2003' - but it was removed because of the Iraq War. (3) The casting for this film was a very
arduous task indeed. Directors, Ridley Scott, John McTiernan, and James
Cameron, wanted noting to do with this project. Ang Lee let it slide because he
wanted to direct 'The Hulk' instead. Sophia Bush and Shane West were both cast as John
Conner and Kate Brewster respectively, but were replaced with Nick and Claire
due to scheduling and type miscast. Linda Hamilton was approached to reprise her role as
Sarah Connor, but she did want to be involved. And for the role of T-X,
Shaquille O'Neal, Vin Diesel, Peta Wilson, Jeri Ryan, Lucia
Rijker, Famke Janssen, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joanie Laurer, were all
considered at one time or another. (4) The T-X was
originally going to be the T-1G, and was supposed to be a male
Terminator. (5) Arnold does
not say "I'll be back" in this film. (6) The Terminator uses a 'Quicktime
Video Codec' for his visual display. (7) The car chase scene took six months to
edit. (8) It took the 54 year old Arnold
three months to get back in shape. (9) This project was intended to be the
first of two back-to-back Terminator related movies. But once it was released,
external elements such as casting, script, and good will, waned. (10) Kristanna
Loken gained 15 pounds of muscle for the role. Also, she took up mine as
well - due to her relying on her own body more than her voice.
So overall 'Terminator 3 - Rise of The Machine' wasn't that great a movie. Still, it wasn't so bad that it damaged the film franchise all that much, huh? Plus remember that this flick also has a very valid message behind it too - don't rely on computers too much, or else one day we will be the tools, and they will be the masters. Therefore, on that note, I best stop typing on my machine, huh Arnie?
THE RATING: B